“The generation that attained independence is passing on to the next generation a country where being patriotic and Armenia is the guarantee of survival,” “Yerkir” writes in an editorial. “And we are gaining a new generation that has a deep realization of national identity but lacks a state and civic thinking, a master’s mentality. We have been taught that in the Republic of Armenia being an Armenian is more valuable than being a citizen. That is why most of us are good or bad Armenians but bad citizens who don’t know their rights and try to protect them and don’t want to recognize their obligations and consider their evasion a good thing. The challenge during the next decade of independence will be to change this mentality.”
In an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Babken Ararktsian, who served as parliament speaker in the 1990s, likens the political struggle in Armenia to a “clash of civilizations.” “On the side, the ruling coalition and dwarfish structures serving it are trying to reinforce an Asian-style dictatorship in Armenia … The purpose of that is to turn the citizen living in an independent state into a subject in order to prolong their rule. A new, unprecedented system of political struggle has been created in Armenia,” says Arartktsian.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that the latest military parades in Armenia and Azerbaijan were meant to send different messages. “The Azerbaijanis tried to show that they have lots of money and can buy any weapon, while we showed that although we don’t have much money, many weapons are manufactured here and, if need be, can also strike Baku,” says the opposition daily. “In this sense, we think that the [Armenian] response was adequate and the parade served its purpose. At least, the experts saw that in case of the resumption of the Karabakh war a ‘blitzkrieg’ [by Azerbaijan] will not be possible and hostilities will be severe and long-lasting.”
Gagik Harutiunian, chairman of the Armenian Constitutional Court, tells “Zhoghovurd” that the court might scrutinize controversial legislation widely blamed for increased libel suits filed against Armenian newspapers. “I can’t say whether it’s good or bad, constitutional or unconstitutional,” says Harutiunian. He also makes clear, “Without a truly free media we would never be able to make our independent statehood a success because the free media is one of the five important pillars of democracy. We very often forget that.”